An Abundance of Talent: Notre Dame Football’s Quarterback Renaissance

For the first time in a long time, Notre Dame has a deep and talented quarterback room. All three Irish signal callers who attempted a pass on Saturday in the annual Blue & Gold game showed future starter potential – and the presumed starter for the 2024 season wasn’t even one of them. The Fighting Irish might just have itself an excellent problem to have at the most critical position on the field for the first time in almost a decade.

Junior Steve Angeli, sophomore Kenny Minchey, and freshman early enrollee CJ Carr all looked sharp Saturday afternoon after reports all spring that the defense was light years ahead of the offense and that the new offense under first-year offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock might take some time to get going.

With all the giant grains of salt needed for a vanilla intrasquad scrimmage, it’s hard for any Notre Dame fan not to feel good about the depth and talent the Irish have accumulated in their quarterback room. Add in Duke transfer Riley Leonard, who some have pegged as having first-round draft pick potential in the past, and the Irish might actually have too much talent, which could cause future roster management problems. That’s a problem for another day, though – at least, hopefully, it’s for another day.

Angeli, who started the Sun Bowl and led the Irish to a victory, had the best statistical day of the bunch with 228 yards on 17 of 25 passing with a pair of scores, but the other two had their moments as well. Minchey flashed the athleticism we’ve heard about for the last year with 40 yards on 8 carries and a rushing touchdown to go with 123 yards on 12 of 19 passing with a touchdown and interception. Carr was the most decisive of the bunch despite being the least experienced while racking up 165 yards on 15 of 23 passing with a touchdown.

Angeli was solid as the starter for the Blue team, though 62 of his 228 yards came on one filthy double-move from transfer wide receiver Kris Mithcell. Angeli could start at many programs today. Could he be the starter for a playoff contender today? That still remains to be seen, but from the limited action we’ve seen Angeli play, it appears clear that, at a bare minimum, he is capable enough today to get the Irish a win or two should they need a spot start.

Kenny Minchey made some throws that young quarterbacks without a lot of experience make. Still, he also displayed the athleticism and escapability that made his skillset so tantalizing when he committed to Notre Dame two years ago. He also displayed a little bit of an “angry toddler” running style when escaping the pocket, which is always fun to watch.

Minchey didn’t just do it with his legs, though. He also showed that he could make some big-time throws. Here is his touchdown connection with early enrollee Micah Gilbert.

Minchey is far from a finished product at this point, but he might have the highest upside of any of the quarterbacks on the roster because of what he can do with his legs. Mike Denbrock helped mold Jayden Daniels into a Heisman Trophy winner by developing him from a guy known more for his legs than his arm until this past season. It’s too early to tell if Minchey has that potential, but he looked very good for someone just entering their sophomore year. Could he start for a playoff contender this year? Probably not, but he certainly looked capable of being that kind of quarterback in the future in the Blue & Gold game.

The most impressive quarterback of the day was perhaps early enrollee CJ Carr. Despite having the least experience, Carr came in and started slinging it. He was more poised and comfortable in the pocket than you’d expect from someone with as little experience as he has. He looked like anything but an early enrollee who should be getting ready for prom, not a Blue & Gold game right now.

Anyone who has watched early enrollee quarterbacks at Notre Dame in the past couldn’t help but be excited about Carr’s potential in this offense. Sure, there were a few rookie mistakes along the way, but his command of the huddle and presence were striking. His talent was as well. Carr was making all of the throws you want to see your quarterback make, including this dart of a touchdown.

Notre Dame has an excellent problem on its hands right now. Minchey has the looks of a quarterback with an extremely high ceiling. Carr already looks like a quarterback capable of leading the offense despite just enrolling. Angeli looks as steady as ever and capable of filling in for Riley Leonard this fall if needed. Managing a room this full of talent could be a problem down the road with the transfer portal always looming, but for today, Notre Dame could have its deepest and most talented quarterback room in many, many years.

You may also like

One Comment

  1. Hopefully Steve angelini wises up and sees the handwriting on the wall he’s a Kelly recruit. He should stop thinking about a national championships for Notre Dame last year was their chance they had the number one offensive line in college football great tight end a great defense three good running backs but they went with a proven winner quarterback Sam Hartman oops

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button